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University league tables for 2010 have been published and Lancaster has followed its Roses success to be triumphant in this competition too.
Lancaster has for a number of years been named as the top university in the North West for student satisfaction and academic standing. This success is reflected in The Independent’s league table, where Lancaster is placed 12th, between Edinburgh (11th) and Southampton (13th). Lancaster has been placed above such world leading institutions as Bristol (16th) and King’s College London (17th), and is also much higher than northern rivals Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds.
The Guardian places Lancaster 16th, above Glasgow and below Leicester. Although it has slipped from 12th place last year, it is still surpassed in the north only by Durham and York, at 14th and 11th respectively.
In The Times Good University Guide Lancaster is rated 23rd, above Manchester and below Birmingham.
The newspapers have taken a holistic approach in their ratings. Universities are ranked in terms of student satisfaction, graduate prospects, entry requirements, student/ staff ratio and research assessment results.
The latest research assessment was carried out in 2008, and gave every higher education institution a grading out of four. Lancaster scored 2.7, whilst the only universities to receive three were Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics.
In terms of subject league tables, the Management School predictably fared very well. LUMS was placed in the top 15 in the UK for Business Studies, Economics and Accounting and Finance. Other departments did not fall short, however. The Linguistics department was placed 8th overall, and American Studies was ranked 6th. They were closely followed by Psychology, placed 11th in the country, and Theology and Religious Studies, which was 12th.
Student views on Lancaster’s academic standing seem to be split. A recent article in SCAN claimed the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC) is ineffectual and unable to cope with students’ needs. However, there have been very positive reactions to the league tables by some students. One second year history student said: “I’m very satisfied with my university experience. I’m not surprised that Lancaster has come 12th in The Independent as the courses and facilities which it provides are fantastic, and I feel I have been able to excel in my subject with the full support and encouragement of excellent staff.”
Ian Denny, Head of Student Registry, echoed this statement. “Obviously the university’s strategic plan is to move into the top ten, and clearly we are getting nearer to this target,” he said.
With Lancaster recently being one of just 29 UK institutions named in the top 200 of world leading universities recently, it is hoped that even more success will be had in the future.